Vintage is crazy for our vineyard guys, so we thought we would rope in the rest of the Oliver’s Taranga staff for a bit of Mencia vintage fun.
The first of this ‘new’ to Australia variety was planted in stages over the last 3 years. The crop this year is fairly good albeit a little sporadic in places -particularly during the juevenile growing phase. This year we have enough crop to have a bit of fun, and a good excuse to experiment with this variety.
What is Mencia?
Mencia is a medium bodied variety with it’s native origins from regions in the the North west of Spain. – Bierzo, Galacia, Ribeira Sacra and Valedorra’s regions. This variety can also be know as ‘Jaen’ in the Dao region of Portugal.
Map of Spain
Traditionally, this variety appears to be an astringent, savoury medium bodied red. Earlier, fresher drinking supported these Spanish regions as their rustic drinking red.
Over more recent years and with the improvement of vineyard practises, it is not unusual to find a deep crimson red Mencia, full of violets and pretty red fruit with the medium palate backed with great tannins and and a fresh acidity.
Many people liken the Mencia variety with Cabernet Franc to which it might be closely releated.
Picking with the Oliver’s Taranga gang
Mencia on our young vines
We all met up at 9am on an overcast- perfect handpicking day! With all hands on deck it only took a couple of hours. The Mencia crop looked great and we were happy with 1400kg. Okay, I confess I appear in the picking gang photo–after arriving at the finish (somebody has to look after Cellar Door). Once in the picking bin we had all feet in for a quick stomp and then it was carefully sealed in plastic to begin fermentation- Carbonic Maceration.
Trudes gettting those buckets in
For lots of hen cackling and a bit of a laugh.. check out our stomping footage –Stomping the Mencia
Ummmm clean feet
It was a great morning with the whole tribe. Not only do we learn what is happening out in the vineyard–it is great to be part of the process and get some fresh air too. Stay tuned for my follow up blog where I’ll explain the process of Carbonic Maceration and how our ferment is progressing.